Mines safety agency to help rescue Meghalaya miners

July 14th, 2012 - 1:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Shillong, July 14 (IANS) A team from the Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) will now oversee the operation to rescue 15 miners trapped in a flooded coal pit in Meghalaya since July 6, an official said Saturday.

Experts from the government regulatory agency for safety in mines and oil-fields from Dhanbad in Jharkhand are currently on their way to the mine in South Garo Hills after the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team Friday called off its operation, saying it was unable to rescue the miners.

“We have been directed to assess the situation at the site and provide technical support to the district authorities for the rescue,” D.K. Sahoo, a member of the DGMS team, told IANS.

The miners got trapped in the mine last Thursday after they accidentally punctured the wall of an abandoned mine, filling their mine with gallons of water.

“The pumping of water from the coal pit is still going on,” said South Garo Hills District Magistrate R.P. Marak.

District police chief Davies R. Marak had said Friday that NDRF pulled out over fears that its team members could endanger themselves inside the flooded mine, which was on the verge of collapse.

“Scuba divers did make their attempt to enter inside the coal pit but the formation of toxic gas forced them to come out,” said Marak.

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